7 Tips for Buying a Dehumidifier

Buying the right dehumidifier for your unique area takes some research, however with these 7 tips for buying a dehumidifier you are on the fast track to selecting the right dehumidifier  for the job.

buying a dehumidifier
1) Extraction Rate

The extraction rate is the maximum amount of moisture that the dehumidifier can extract if left on for 24 hours. Usually this figure varies from around 8 litres to 14 litres depending on the type of dehumidifier.

Typically more expensive dehumidifiers have a higher extraction rate although there are some exceptions to the rules.

The truth is that modern dehumidifiers have auto controls that allow the dehumidifier to sense the percentage of humidity in the air and to turn itself ‘off’ and ‘on’ as needed to keep the relative humidity at the set level.

Therefore true extraction rates are lower than stated extraction rates.

2) The Tank 

For domestic dehumidifiers in the UK and Ireland the typical tank size is 1.5 litres – 2 litres.

Generally speaking at the same extraction rate the bigger the tank the less often you have to empty it.

Make sure that the tank slides in and out of position easily to avoid spillage when emptying. Deluxe models often feature a lid on the tank to avoid same.

Ensure that the dehumidifier automatically stops working when the tank is full.

3) Permanent Drainage Facility Buying a dehumidifier

Many dehumidifiers come with a permanent drain facility which allows the dehumidifier to empty the gathered water itself.

There are two types of drainage facility, those that work by gravity, and motorized facilities.

Those drainage facilities that work by gravity must have the drain lower than the dehumidifier.

Gravity systems concur with wall-mounted dehumidifiers, such as those found in commercial places such as swimming pools etc, or  smaller domestic dehumidifiers for use in caravans, motor homes etc.

When using the motorized drain facility the drain can actually be higher than the dehumidifier as the motor pushes the water up to the drain.

Access for the permanent drain facility is usually at the bottom, on the rear, of the appliance.

Check to see if a length of tubing and/or a plumbing kit is included when purchasing the unit.

4) Build-in Humidistat 

Ensure that the dehumidifier has a build in humidistat as this will save you in running costs.

Basically the humidistat senses the relative humidity that is present in its environment and turns the dehumidifier ‘on’ and ‘off’ to ensure that the humidity in the surrounding air stays with in pre-set limits.

For example the Meaco Portable Compact DD8L Dehumidifier senses the air for 5 minutes every half hour. If the relative humidity level falls within guidelines then the machine turns itself off only to check the humidity levels for 5 minutes half an hour later.

If the humidity level stays within range the Meaco DD8L is only working 10 minutes out of every hour which makes it a very efficient machine.

5) Control Panel and Settings

Control panels should be situated on top of the dehumidifier for easy access and readability.

The control panel should be very easy to navigate. In most cases you should know how to operate them without reading the instruction manual.

Ensure that the dehumidifier has got a variety of settings such as ‘Low’, ‘Medium, and ‘High’.

The best dehumidifiers, such as the Meaco Portable Compact DD8L dehumidifier, also feature a ‘Laundry Mode’ which is helpful for drying clothes.

The ‘Laundry Mode’ can bring relative humidity levels down to around 35% and can capture moisture from wet clothes before it reaches the windows etc.

Buying a dehumidifier
6) Noise

Always check the volume of the different settings on a dehumidifier.

A low setting on a dehumidifier is typically as loud as a person whispering or around 35dB.

A medium setting is somewhat louder akin to that of a library under normal conditions.

A high setting usually produces sound volume which is like a desk top fan operating at full speed.

Be aware though that all dehumidifiers differ.

Dehumidifiers usually operate on the medium setting though the low setting is often used more night time operation in bedrooms when people are sleeping.

7) Desiccant or Mechanical

Finally check if the dehumidifier is a desiccant dehumidifier or a mechanical one.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are eco-friendly as they do not leak gases however mechanical dehumidifiers heat up the surrounding air temperature which is handy in winter time.

Mechanical dehumidifiers are often a little louder than their desiccant counter-parts.

Read more about the difference between the two types of dehumidifier here.


After reading the above 7 tips for buying a dehumidifier you are now armed with a better knowledge what to look for when buying a dehumidifier.

One further important point to make is size. You need the right dehumidifier for the size of the job.

A dehumidifier that is too small will not extract enough moisture from the air whereas a dehumidifier that is too big will result in excess running costs.